|estimated ~10 million worldwide|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Hainan, Southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia)|
|Hainanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hlai, Danzhouhua and various languages of the countries they inhabit|
|Chinese Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Traditional Chinese religion.|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Other Han Chinese (especially Min Nan speakers)|
The people of Hainan (Chinese: 海南人), known as Hainanese and Hainan people, usually refers to people who originate from Hainan Island, the southernmost and smallest Chinese province. The term "Hainanese" was frequently used by the Hainanese Han (海南漢人) who are the majority in the island, to identify themselves overseas. Nevertheless, other natives of the island such as Li (Hlai) (黎族), Miao (苗族), and Utsuls also use the term.
Most Hainanese Han people were originally fishermen from the Fujian and Guangdong provinces who later settled in Hainan, while the Li natives came to the island earlier and were descendants of the Yue tribe, from the mainland.
Similarly to Fujian and Guangdong province, Hainan has been the source for much migration. Towards the turn of the 20th century, many Hainanese migrated to various Southeast Asian countries, where they worked as cooks, restaurateurs, coffee shop owners, sailors, and hoteliers. Chen Sing, one of the "villain" movie stars that dotted the Hong Kong movie industry was of Hainanese roots, as was the bartender who invented the world-famous Singapore Sling at the renowned Singapore Raffles Hotel, Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon.
In Hainan, Mandarin (Putonghua) is typically the lingua franca as it is anywhere in China. With Hainan's proximity to Guangdong, some locals can also speak Cantonese. The local Han Chinese speak Hainanese as their mother tongue; a Min-Nan dialect also known as Qiongwen. The Hainanese dialect is mutually unintelligible to other Min-Nan dialects (such as Hokkien or Teochew). Because of this, many argue that the Hainanese dialect is in fact, a separate language altogether. The Wenchang dialect is considered to be the prestige dialect.
The Hainanese are known for their signature dishes such as the Hainanese Chicken Rice, Wenchang chicken, Hainanese Pork Chop, Hainanese Mutton Soup, Hainanese Salted Fish Soup and beef noodle soup. In Singapore, one can find some of these signature dishes served at the various eateries located along Purvis Street - which is often referred to as "Singapore's Hainan Street". Hainanese Chicken Rice is a recognised dish throughout Southeast Asia due to the Hainanese diaspora in these areas who famed it. It is often labelled as Singapore's national dish.
Hainanese Opera (Qiong Opera) is a passion for many Hainanese, particularly for the older generation. Enriched with local flavours, Hainanese Opera is part and parcel of Hainanese culture.
- Hoklo people
- Min Nan
- Thai Chinese
- Malaysian Chinese
- Singapore Chinese
- Han Chinese
- Li people
- Yangpu Ancient Salt Field
- Kugiya, Hugo (March 18, 2010). "Singapore's national dish: Hainan chicken rice". Crosscut. Retrieved August 20, 2011.